Monday, October 15, 2018

No surprise at all, Steven Pinker defends racist crank Linda Gottfredson


Steven Pinker blocked me months ago on Twitter because, like all members of the "Intellectual Dark Web," he cannot tolerate criticism of any kind. 

But I have another Twitter account for NYCPlaywrights so while logged in there I took a peek today at Pinker's Twitter time line and OF COURSE he is defending racist crank Linda Gottfredson, while supporting Quillette, the Kremlin of race science promoters and attacking the Southern Poverty Law Center a venerable anti-bigotry bulwark.

Pinker is bitter because the Southern Poverty Law Center criticizes supporters of race science - evolutionary psychology, "human biodiversity," "biosocial criminology" which includes his friends like Sam Harris, Claire Lehmann and many other members of the "Intellectual Dark Web."

Steven Pinker is a disgusting, racist-supporting individual. But that's been obvious since he started promoting the careers of race science cranks Steve Sailer and Razib Khan.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Quillette defends racist crank Linda Gottfredson

No surprise that Quillette, which promotes "race science" proponents and evo-psycho bros has published an article defending Linda Gottfredson. It seems Gottfredson was disinvited from being a keynote speech at the International Association of Educational and Vocational Guidance meeting in Sweden.
My guess is that the International Association of Educational and Vocational Guidance people finally realized that Linda Gottfredson is a racist crank.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center:
Following a long tradition of scientific racism, Gottfredson argues that racial inequality, especially in employment, is the direct result of genetic racial differences in intelligence. Relying heavily on money obtained from the white nationalist Pioneer Fund, Gottfredson has worked tirelessly to oppose any and all efforts to reduce racial inequality in both in the workplace and in society as a whole. 
In Her Own Words: 
“The bell curve for whites is centered roughly around IQ 100; the bell curve for American blacks roughly around 85; and those for different subgroups of Hispanics roughly midway between those for whites and blacks. The evidence is less definitive for exactly where above IQ 100 the bell curves for Jews and Asians are centered.“
—“Mainstream Science on Intelligence,” The Wall Street Journal, 1994
“The IQs of different groups of African blacks range more around 70.”
 
—Interview with Stefan Molyneux, 2015
Here is the section of the interview with Molyneux in which they rank "groups."






Friday, October 12, 2018

The wonderful Bruce Schneier on digital security


I've mentioned Bruce Schneier on several occasions on this blog before, but always in reference to how he kicked Dunning-Kruger poster boy Sam Harris's ass on the issue of profiling and airport security.

Now Schneier has a new book out about security focused on "the internet of things" - aka IoT - called Click Here to Kill Everybody.

I'm glad somebody is paying attention because it was clear to me from the outset of IoT that it was incredibly dangerous to leave computerized objects operating in physical space vulnerable to hackers. Scheier talks about it in the video above.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

So whatever happened to Neil LaBute?

I was surprised to see that the LaBute festival is still happening this year. I just posted their call for submissions at NYCPlaywrights.

Neil LaBute's relationship with MCC Theater was suddenly cut, back in February of this year: 
Neil LaBute, a prominent American playwright and screenwriter known for his portraits of misanthropic and misogynistic men, has been abruptly cut off by one of New York’s leading nonprofit theaters. 
MCC Theater, a prestigious Off Broadway company, announced Thursday that it was canceling an upcoming production of Mr. LaBute’s latest play and terminating his tenure as its playwright-in-residence, effective immediately. 
The theater’s leadership repeatedly declined to explain the reason for its action, but on Friday, Blake West, its executive director, said, “We’re committed to creating and maintaining a respectful and professional work environment for everyone we work with.” 
Mr. LaBute did not respond to a request for comment. 
The action is a startling development in the 15-year relationship between the nonprofit theater and the polarizing playwright: MCC has been a longtime champion of Mr. LaBute’s work, which often raises uncomfortable questions about sex and power and leaves viewers debating whether Mr. LaBute was critiquing or reveling in the bad behavior of some of his protagonists.

Geffin Playhouse also dropped him:
No reason was given by MCC for its split with LaBute, nor did Geffen offer an explanation for its own move in replacing “Fat Pig” with a play by another writer. Sources with knowledge of the Geffen production said that Chrissy Metz, the “This Is Us” star who was announced as the star of “Fat Pig,” had dropped out of the project last month; however, the Geffen, when asked for comment, did not elaborate on its initial announcement.
As this author on Twitter noted:


On the other hand you could argue that if it was for sexual harassment then it was smart of LaBute to cut a non-disclosure deal with MCC, because if nobody is sure he was fired for harassment  there will likely not be outrage when he makes a come-back. 

And less than a year after whatever it is caused such an abrupt break, LaBute is having no trouble at all getting hired or having theater festivals with his name on them.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

The fundamental stupidity of Sam Harris

I was reviewing this exchange between Sam Harris and Ezra Klein recently.

 I have long had a very low opinion of Sam Harris's intelligence and so I shouldn't have been, but I really was amazed at how sharply and clearly Sam Harris's stupidity jumped right off the page (highlighted.)



How is it possible that when Ezra Klein makes a very succinct and clear argument for why Jefferson's generalization of the innate intellectual abilities of blacks as a group was obviously disproved by individuals like James Baldwin and so using the "Jeffersonian politics of difference" that Charles Murray promotes is absurd, Harris completely misses the point and instead leaps to "do you doubt people are different"?

Because Sam Harris is not very bright.

Sam Harris is the recipient of wealth and connections that has allowed him to get to the point where he can play a smart person to gullible groups of young white men. Harris rode to fame on the anti-Islamic bigotry caused by the 9-11 attacks

But when people who actually know what the hell they are talking about talk to Harris, Harris comes out looking like an especially arrogant poster boy for the Dunning-Kruger effect as when an actual security expert, Bruce Schneier, ripped Harris's idiotic ethnic-profiling scheme apart.

And so since Harris isn't actually very bright, he's going to generally come out the worst for it whenever he gets out of the safe spaces of Quillette and "Intellectual Dark Web" echo chambers. And so in order to maintain his own belief in his superior intellect he will have to keep going back to people who believe he's really smart, the people who made him in the first place - the pants-pissing bigots.

And I think that's why he has such a whiny demeanor when communicating with people like Ezra Klein - I think Harris perceives he is being bested, but doesn't want to - or is so blinkered he can't believe it's due to his intellectual failings and so Harris suspects that there's unfair machinations being used against him.

Another thing that really struck me in the Harris-Klein exchange is that Harris, just like the Steven Pinker-promoted duo of alt-right racist Steve Sailer and right-wing operative and too-racist-for-the-NYTimes Razib Khan, wants to discard what we know about the African American experience in the US when discussing blackness and race and nature v nurture. As Khan said:
So I have to take issue when The New York Times posts articles with headlines such as White? Black? A Murky Distinction Grows Still Murkier. What genetics is showing is that in fact white Americans are shockingly European to an incredibly high degree for a population with roots on this continent for 400 years. If we removed all the history that we take for granted we’d be amazed that the indigenous peoples had so little demographic impact, and, that the larger numbers of people of partial African ancestry did not move into the general “white” population. 
The statement is so absurd it took me a while to realize that in this passage Khan means we should disregard history because then we will better understand the purity of the genetic information. It's such a bizarre way to understand humans - unless of course you've already completely bought into the assumption that nature is everything and nurture is nothing.

And Harris is in agreement with this. I suspect the hereditarians think this way in part because history isn't science but genetics is. Here's Harris in the discussion with Klein:
     Ezra Klein 
I doubt that we have, given the experiment we have run in this country, given the centuries of slavery and segregation and oppression, given locking people out of jobs, out of good schools, out of building wealth, out of going into top professions, out of being part of the social networks that help you advance; the amount of violence and terror and trauma that we have inflicted on African Americans in this country, I absolutely doubt — I truly, to the core of my being, doubt — that we are at a place where any of us should have confidence saying that the differences we see in individuals now reflect intrinsic group capacity. I think that at every other point in America history where we have said that — 
     Sam Harris 
But even Murray wouldn’t say that. 
     Ezra Klein 
That is exactly what Murray says. That at every other point in American history. 
     Sam Harris 
Again, there is confusion creeping in here. 
     Ezra Klein 
There is not confusion. 
Sam Harris 
Okay, I’ll try to sort it out in my next volley. 
     Ezra Klein 
You’ll sort it out. Of course. At every point in American history where we have made that argument, we now look back — and, I mean, this is not going way back. Segregation, my mom was alive in segregation. Charles Murray was alive during segregation. We’re talking, I think, it’s within the week of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination. This is not ancient history, it is recent history. 
I think we look back and say, “Man, they really had it wrong.” You quoted back at me something that I think either I say it, or the Vox authors say it, now I don’t remember, but that, yeah, if you’re having a version of this conversation again, then it is incumbent on you to say why you’re so sure it will be different this time. 
Murray does say he thinks that some combination of genetic and basically immutably environmental characteristics make it so we can’t do much about this and there just are big differences between the groups, and it’s just going to remain that way, and American politics need to rearrange itself around that reality. 
Yeah, I strongly disagree, and I disagree because of American history. That is why my fundamental criticism of that conversation was that you needed to deal more with the history of this conversation and the history of this country. 
     Sam Harris 
Okay, but even in this conversation you are unwilling to differentiate scientific fact and scientific data and reasonable extrapolations based on data, from past injustices in American history, these are totally separate things — 
     Ezra Klein
No, we disagree on what a reasonable extrapolation from the data is.
Harris then goes onto whine about how the Southern Poverty Law Center was a big meanie to him - they were not.

Towards the end the exchange demonstrates Harris's Dunning-Kruger blind spot:
    Sam Harris 
I get that, but not in precisely the ways you think you do. I’m in the, once again, having the bewildering experience of agreeing with virtually everything you said there, and yet it has basically no relevance to what I view as our underlying disagreement. 
    Ezra Klein 
You have that bewildering experience because you don’t realize when you keep saying that everybody else is thinking tribally, but you’re not, that that is our disagreement.
Harris is bewildered because he can't keep up with the intellectual complexity that Klein has been throwing at him, but can't admit - can't understand - that the problem is his own deficiency and so he has a suspicion that something tricksy is going on.

But Harris will continue to be successful because he's telling all those white supremacists and misogynists what they want to hear and telling them that they are the true smart ones, the pure intellects, unlike those identity politics people.

And of course there's always the wingnut welfare from the Kochs or other right-wingers, glad to prop up mediocrities who say what they want them to say. 

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Who said it - Cathy Young or Mark Judge?

Gamergater #1
Sarkeesian’s Tropes vs. Women videos, which feature prominently in the debate about videogames, feminism and sexism, are full of selective and skewed analysis—one that neglects positive female images, ignores examples of male characters getting the same treatment she considers sexist for women, and attacks games for encouraging deadly violence toward female characters when killing those characters is actually the "bad" option that causes player to lose points. (A fairly detailed three-part discussion of the flaws in Sarkeesian’s critique was posted a few weeks ago on Gamesided.com; for upfront disclosure, the first part quotes from an old column of mine criticizing radical anti-sex feminist Andrea Dworkin, on whose theories Sarkeesian sometimes relies.) It should go without saying that the biased shoddiness of Sarkeesian’s arguments does not in any way excuse the online harassment toward her, let alone violent threats.  But the harassment should not preclude a critical examination of her critique—instead of the largely unquestioning adulation it has received from the elite gaming media.
Gamergater #2
Yes, some games are violent. Some are misogynistic. And responsible people can have discussions about the effect that too much gaming has on the human soul and psyche—as well as what good games do. Yet Sarkeesian’s arguments are overly broad, deceptive, and full of specific errors. Gamers have pointed this out in great detail, and are still caricatured in the media as unintelligent, pajama-wearing mouth breathers.
One of the sharpest gamers to respond to Sarkeesian is a kid who calls himself Mr. Repzion. Mr. Repzion in a lifelong gamer, and on his YouTube channel he has posted several responses to Sarkeesian that are detailed and well researched. (They also contain occasional bad language.) Repzion was particularly exasperated at the errors Sarkeesian made when she recently attended E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo.
The first is by Cathy Young. The second is by Brett Kavanaugh's black-out drinking buddy and probable rape-train rapist Mark Judge.

As much as I have been reading Cathy Young's commentary on, and support for the monsters of Gamergate during the past month, I would not have been able to tell the difference between Young's and Judge's words. Mark Judge is Cathy Young's soul mate when it comes to hatred of women who complain about sexism.

Young mentions Judge online but hasn't said that she knew him. They are just two awful human beings, I guess, being independently awful.

Now that Young has found out (probably by now) that Mark Judge was a fellow Gamergater will she decide to admire and defend him as she did Milo Yiannopolous and Eron Gjoni?

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Speaking of right-wing Helen Pluckrose

I find it funny that Helen Pluckrose and other right-wing Quillette clowns believe they've proven something by getting a reworded Mein Kampf into some lame po-mo publication.
To date, their project has been successful: seven papers have passed through peer review and have been published, including a 3000 word excerpt of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, rewritten in the language of Intersectionality theory and published in the Gender Studies journal Affilia.

So what do Helen Pluckrose et. al. believe? That it's better to deliberately publish a racist than to inadvertently publish one? Or do they believe it's just worse to be racist against Jews than racist against blacks?


Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Jesse Singal's continuing journey to the right

Anti- "identity politics" and yet considers it
necessary to declare her ethnic identity
on her Twitter profile.
I have documented Quillette's opposition to feminism and Quillette founder Claire Lehmann's misogyny on this blog often.

Quillette is a scheme to rebrand right-wing views like those of Lehmann's former (or maybe continuing) employer Rebel Media as "centrist" and so it aligns itself with fake liberals like Helen Pluckrose and Iona Italia.

Italia likes to denounce identity politics, although she proudly proclaims her religio-ethnic identity on her Twitter profile. 


And it was Italia retweeting my tweet to her behind the safety of a block (because like all those who gather round right-wing safe space Quillette, she is a snowflake who cannot tolerate criticism) which got Jesse Singal and Cathy Young to team up to attack me, although I hadn't had anything to do with either of them for months leading up to the attack.

It's no surprise to find Pluckrose and Italia promoting Jesse Singal in their podcast. Singal is rapidly becoming a second-string member of the "Intellectual Dark Web" along with Cathy Young. 

One of the editorial positions of Quillette, in addition to anti-feminist, anti-Muslim, anti-socialist and pro "race science" (which claims to have proven scientifically that black people are intellectually and morally inferior to other races) and a constant trumped-up panic over free speech in American colleges is a hostility to transgenderism. 

It is no anomaly that the movement is hitting its cultural stride in the debate over pronouns. The first step in changing how we think about our bodies and what it means to be human is to change how we speak about these things. Transgender speech codes demand that we renounce our bodies’ basis in biology, and instead consider them constructs of arbitrary (and somehow unjust) societal expectations. We are not to think about ‘mother’ and ‘father’ as reproductive terms, but as culturally specified relationships. This aggressive effort to change and police the use of language, and to redefine terms like ‘male’ and ‘female’ to deny the sexual difference characteristic of all mammals, is designed to uncouple mind from body and humans from evolutionary and reproductive logic. Instead, an ideology of emotion is to be given dominion over biological reality.
Ah yes, the all-important pronoun issue. The thing that brought crackpot Jordan Peterson to everyone's attention. Quillette adores Peterson, of course.

Quillette appears to publish virtually any reactionary screed that matches its editorial positions, even an anti-trans rant by Emmons who has zero expertise, per her Quillette bio: a writer and theatre maker in New York. She is co-founder of the Sticky series & newly formed Puss Collective, & blogs at li88yinc.com. 

Jesse Singal is now infamous for his hostility to transgenderism, making him a perfect match for Quillette. It's surprising he hasn't published in Quillette yet, especially since he's started publishing in the Koch brothers-supported Reason.

Iona Italia and Helen Pluckrose are either complete idiotic dupes or are fully aware they are playing roles in the belief that pretending to be liberals makes them more effective at attacking feminists and liberals. Either way they are contemptible individuals.

Monday, October 01, 2018

I love these 21st century men




Ils me donnent de l'espoir pour l'avenir!